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Citizen Group Says Despite House Vote, Government-Run Health Care Can Still Be Stopped
For Immediate Release March 21, 2010
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, VA) – As the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3590 with a vote of 219-212, Pete Sepp, Vice President for Policy and Communications with the 362,000-Member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), offered the following statement:
"The House may have passed its latest, flawed attempt at health care reform, which translates to billions of dollars in new taxes and penalties on those who can least afford it, but the fight is far from finished. Even though President Obama will sign H.R. 3590 into law, the Senate must also consider the House's reconciliation package, H.R. 4872.
Very legitimate, serious questions exist about whether the Senate will swallow the changes the House has made. If the Senate does not accept the House's reconciliation and offers an amended counter proposal, the legislative ping-pong game that's just getting started could go on for quite some time. With each day this terrible spectacle continues, the American people's distrust and discontent with Congress grows.
Americans have said clearly they don't want the versions of health care bills Congress is offering, and what the House passed this evening is no different. How much closer to November will we be before vulnerable lawmakers wake up and realize this poor piece of legislation is not worth betting their careers on any longer? What will it take for Congress to finally LISTEN to the American people that have spoken loud and clear at rallies and town hall meetings and start over, just as NTU has urged it to do over and over again?
The fact remains that the House's reconciliation package has done nothing more than worsen the tax burden of the original bill by some $150 billion and pile on more promises of Medicare spending reductions that lawmakers have no intention of keeping. In addition, as a just-released NTU Issue Brief concluded, the new Medicare payroll tax hike will likely grow to hammer four to five million taxpayers after its first decade of operation because the income thresholds at which the tax applies are not indexed for inflation. The reconciliation bill will magnify this effect because it applies the equivalent of the new payroll tax to so-called 'unearned income' as well. Unbridled spending, tax hikes, and a more powerful, less accountable government are not the ways to lower costs and improve quality of care.
Fortunately for every American, the House alone cannot drive the final nail in the coffin lid; the Senate still has a chance to reject this effort to begin burying our health care choices, our economy, and our children's future. Meaningful health care reform can still be enacted to provide significant improvements in our health care system, such as allowing insurance competition across state lines, establishing equal, less burdensome tax treatment for insurance purchases, and adopting serious medical liability reforms."
NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information on NTU's health care work, including Issue Brief 177, Spreading Virus: How a Hidden Tax in the Health Care Bill Will Take an Increasing Toll on Americans' Finances, visit ntu.org or text the word "FIGHT" to 67292.